The Falcons have quickly become a primary contender in the NFC since Dan Quinn's arrival, and they have a core of players who are among the best at their respective positions. But how does the Falcons' roster stack up against others in the NFL?
Apparently, quite well.
In an insider piece for ESPN (which means you'll need a subscription to read the entire piece), Pro Football Focus ranked every player on every NFL roster to determine just how strong a team's roster was from top to bottom. The Falcons were No. 2 on their list, behind only the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. We'd tell you what the rest of the list looks like, but that wouldn't be right.
In total, the Falcons had a total of 13 starters with a grade above 80 led by Julio Jones, who had a grade of 91.4, and Deion Jones, who had a grade of 89.6. Neither of those two players were deemed the Falcons' biggest strength, however. That honor went to Matt Ryan, who earned an 88.6 grade.
"While his overall play did take a slight step back from his 2016 MVP campaign, quarterback Matt Ryan still played at a high level," PFF notes. "The box score may not show that, but Ryan suffered some awfully bad luck in 2017 and threw a league-leading eight "unlucky" interceptions (tipped passes, receiver errors, etc.). Ryan ended the year tied for second in overall PFF grade while ranking third in adjusted completion percentage and throwing only five turnover-worthy passes all year."
It's notable that the Falcons and Eagles hold the top two spots. Atlanta gave Philadelphia arguably its toughest game in last year's playoffs, and they are the NFC's latest two Super Bowl representatives.